Advice for Buying a Restaurant and Selling a Restaurant

Eric Gagnon

Recent Posts

We Sell Restaurants Gives Back in Broward and Palm Beach County

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Dec 3, 2019 6:33:41 AM

The team at We Sell Restaurants in the Palm Beach and Broward County franchises put their hands and hearts to work just before the Thanksgiving holiday to feed those in need.  

Thanksgiving hannah blog-1Hannah Eisenband led a South Florida team of volunteers to raise more than $3,000 for the Palm Beach County Food Pantry, Boca Helping Hands. Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a community-based 501(c)(3) organization that provides food, medical and financial assistance to meet basic human needs as well as education, job training and guidance to create self-sufficiency.   

Hannah Eisenband began this passion project when she decided to create Thanksgiving Meal Baskets for Boca Helping Hands to distribute to local families in need during this holiday season. When speaking with friends, Hannah decided to expand on her original plan and make it a community event. Hannah and her team planned on assisting ten families in need with food baskets for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hannah got in touch with dozens of community members and in the course of 24 hours, had not only met the original goal but tripled it. Food was purchased and fifteen baskets of love were prepared. Donations continued to come in and those funds were presented along with the baskets to Boca Helping Hands.

Over $750 was raised in the span of 48 hours. The We Sell Restaurants Charitable Trust matched that amount, creating donations in excess of $1500. An anonymous donor matched that amount creating more than $3,000 in both monetary and food products donated to Boca Helping Hand Food Pantry to help families in need.

We are so proud of the impact that We Sell Restaurants has made to our local community.

Topics: Restaurant Brokers

When the Music Stopped – We Sell Restaurants President on Challenges

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Nov 21, 2019 11:20:48 AM

Many of you may not know that I have experienced three ear surgeries in the last 12 months, all of which have left me fundamentally without hearing.  That creates a pretty large challenge as I LISTEN to people for a living.

I have been without hearing in one ear for my entire life, a fact most of my clients and business associates would have never known.  It didn’t stop me from pursuing an amazing career and learning English as a second language, (French is my primary language). 

How am I coping?  I use the same approach for different phases of this challenge that a buyer, a seller or a broker would use to keep marching forward. I also use a lot of prayers and self-motivation which are two universal tools that everyone should use daily.

Eric Music

Originally I was told by one of the best ear surgeons in the US that I had an 80% chance my hearing would improve with the first surgery and less than a 2% chance I would go deaf.  According to the specialists, my remaining ear issues in my only hearing ear would go away.

Translate this into a buyer’s language, “I’m buying a deal making strong money and proven books,” What can go wrong? Let’s do this!!”

We scheduled the first surgery and went through all the testing and pre-op questions.  In buyer language, we entered into a “purchase agreement” and did the first surgery. I was told to prepare for the worst -- up to three months with no hearing.  Once I woke up, to everyone’s surprise, especially the doctor’s, I could hear immediately!!  LOUD and clear. In a buyer’s world, this would be equivalent to, “Initial due diligence fantastic.  Almost too good to be true.” 

Unfortunately, three weeks later, my hearing started to deteriorate. The doctor thought it was probably an ear infection and said, “Take some meds, it will clear up.”  Two weeks later with no improvement, he says, “come see me.” I drive three hours each way so they can stick needles in my ear, do an audiogram and learn my hearing is rapidly deteriorating.  Then the doctor says, “What about wearing hearing aids?”  Remember, originally I heard perfectly from my single ear with no hearing aids. 

The Broker in me started to kick in and realized this was equivalent to, “Expect some changes in the deal terms.”

Shortly thereafter, once again my hearing deteriorated to the point the hearing aids were useless.  Back to the doctor. Read here: “Buyer is very upset with current condition, but due diligence is over so he can’t walk away from the deal and must find a solution.”

Doctor reveals that scar tissue is growing between the bones which impairs my hearing.  Solution:  Second surgery to laser out scar tissue and rebuild one of the bones. Read here: as a broker we’ve got new movement.  We find out why we have this problem and the seller is willing to fix it.  That’s great news.  Buyer is now happy with the offer and keeps moving forward.

Surgery #2 happens.  I wake up with slight improvement in hearing and even back to my best hearing performance with the hearing aids two weeks later. Buyer thinks, "All problems fixed. Everyone is happy and we accept some compromise - let’s go to closing!”

Wait a minute.  Four weeks later, back to square one. Hearing has dropped beyond hearing aid capacity and declining. The broker in me is thinking, “Maybe this isn’t the right deal for everyone but how do we minimize damages?”

At this point the right thing to do was to walk away from this deal and find a new and better one.  The new deal for me becomes a new doctor at the University of Arkansas Medical Center thousands of miles from home.

His assessment:  Plan A: A new surgery to replace two bones with titanium parts that scar tissue won't cling to.  Success will be hearing fine with hearing aids without any loss over time.  Plan B: if plan A fails, we will do a cochlear implant in 60 to 90 days later and this will work. As a broker, I like the “no surprises” approach.  Always be ahead of the game, with a backup plan. This was music to my non-hearing ears!

Surgery #3 happened on Oct. 3rr.  I spent two weeks with no hearing at all while the ear healed from the surgery and could not accommodate hearing aids.  That was once again, a little scary but different than the first two surgeries where I heard quickly but failed in the long run. 

Ultimately, hearing aids went back in and the results are not good.  The last surgery did not heal the issue.  I have now been fundamentally without hearing for the last year.  The next step is a cochlear implant.  This is a device implanted that goes directly to my brain stem.  I will re-learn “hearing” in this fashion after the surgery and therapy.

During this time, I still maintained a full book of business and worked to the fullest of my abilities. Technology has been helpful; it has advanced to help with hearing impairment. I carry two phones.  My normal iPhone with a blue tooth connection to my hearing aids and an Android that translates voice when I put it near sound (like speakers or a person).  Some people did not even notice I was using a device to hear them.  Others noticed a delay while I ‘read’ their comment before responding. 

It would have been easy to give up and pity myself, but I chose to focus on what I have learned from the experience to make myself better.  Here are some of the benefits I gained. 

At the beginning of this blog I said I LISTEN to people for a living.  I used to do 2-3 things at the time while on the phone.  Now I must read the phone so I cannot do any other task. I am now FULLY listening to the buyers and sellers on the phone and it made me a better broker for it. I also restate their comment or concerns which is also helpful to make sure I understood what they said. My results also reflect that this year.

Every call and every interaction must be meaningful, since listening is very tiring.  I must make sure that this worthy and productive, if it’s not, I politely end the discussion and find a productive activity to engage with.

My focus is more intense.  If you cut out outside noise you will see things much clearer in focus.  This applies when I look at financials as well as when I engage in my hobbies.  I rely a lot more on visuals now than what I hear.

I also became a better writer as I have been sending lengthier and more detailed emails.

My interactions with my family have changed.  Most couples married for nearly twenty years will just toss out a comment from across the room with music or TV in the background. My wife and I must be very close to one another for me to recognize that she is speaking.  Since we run a business together, that means we talk a lot.  We have relied on more communication by touch, where she lets me know she’s speaking.  I can somewhat read her lips and understand what she’s saying or use my phone.  Either way, I’m 100% focused on her and she on me when we are communicating.  This is a great tip for any married couple. 

My professional life has changed.  I cannot sign up for certain functions I would normally attend.  Board meetings are tough because so many people are speaking, and I can’t hear what is being said in a large table environment.  My wife and I often speak or lead round tables at industry functions and that has not been possible without her picking up on most of the questions and bringing me in on the back end. 

This is part of my destiny and my journey.  I am embracing it and making the best of it every single day.  In the best-case scenario, I have just a few more months without the music and things will get better by the first quarter of next year with the fourth and final surgery. 

Either way, I have spent a year without music and gained a new appreciation for communication. 

Topics: Restaurant Brokers

Buying a Restaurant?  Take this NFL Rookie’s Advice

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Nov 16, 2018 1:45:31 PM

Ever wished you could have gotten an extended trial period for something you bought BEFORE you made the commitment?  What about when you're buying a restaurant?

Dimgray Player Football Icons Photo Collage

For a lot of products, there’s no “drive before you buy” that lasts the length of time you need to discover the flaws.  Can you see yourself going to your local auto dealer and asking them to let you “demo” your dream vehicle for three months before you make the purchase?

Imagine this concept as it relates to your career.  Have you wondered what it would be like to “test” a new job before you resign from your current one?    

Is there a way to test drive the restaurant business?  There is. There are literally thousands of jobs available in the industry.  It’s always been our advice at We Sell Restaurants, that you should work in the industry before buying a restaurant. 

As restaurant brokers, we often see people investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in an industry where they have very little experience.  They buy, only to realize very quickly that this is not the right fit for them. They are now faced with potentially losing a substantial chunk of their initial investment.

What if that same person would have worked as an employee in a similar location before they made the purchase? With the labor pool tightening, restaurant owners are always looking for help.  Why not and go work for someone else on a part-time basis before you go out and spend a large amount of money?

If you are buying a franchise restaurant you are in luck as hopefully there are existing locations nearby to go and see what restaurant life all is about. (Hint:  It is not what you see on Food Network!)

You could even work for a potential competitor before you buy. Some franchisors require potential candidates to work in a store for up to six weeks store as part of the training process before buying a franchise restaurant.

Buying an independent restaurant location? The owner will probably not let you work there if he knows you are interested in purchasing his restaurant (AKA Undercover Boss).  You could go to work at one of the potential competitors or the best independent restaurant in town.  Try as many positions as you can from the front of the house to the back of the house.  Learn the POS system and try your hand at delivery. You will learn a great deal and cash a paycheck as well.  That sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

You think this is beneath you or unnecessary?  Look at this young man who made the headlines last week. 

Rookie Colts RB Nyheim Hines worked at a Bojangles over bye week due to his retirement plan

An NFL player is working at Bojangles’s during his week off.  He has a four-year, $3.18 million-dollar rookie paycheck coming in and he’s smart enough to learn the business before investing.  What’s stopping you from doing the same thing during your time off?

I know it’s a lot more fun to look on for restaurants for sale but spending time in real live stores will make you more successful in buying a restaurant.

You may decide once you look under the hood, that the restaurant business is not for you.  If so, you will save a huge amount of money and maybe even fatten your bank account while you’re at it.

You could learn that you have a natural affinity and talent for the industry and change your search from those making money to under performers that need a new look before flipping.  

If it’s good enough for an NFL player pulling down serious money, it seems like a good plan for you in buying a restaurant.

If you are interested in working somewhere before you buy, reach out to We Sell Restaurants.  We may be able to connect you with owners in your area.


Eric Gagnon blog footer


Topics: Buying a Restaurant

Selling Your Restaurant? Better Start Your Spring Cleaning

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Apr 9, 2018 12:57:13 PM


Dark Blue and Red World Press Freedom Day Social Media Post-1Spring is in the air. We all feel driven to clean out closets, tidy up spaces and do a general touch up. Thinking of Selling your restaurant? Apply the same thought process.

Most of us take a hard look at our homes and we will try to make it look as good as we can for the upcoming months. Why not do the same for your restaurant? If you’re thinking of selling your restaurant, here are some of the major areas to focus on from the restaurant brokers. These are the major areas and ideas for your Spring cleaning.


Dining room, Patio, Kitchen

When it comes to selling your restaurant, you need to look up, down, and all around. When is the last time you really cleaned your dining room floor? I don’t mean just mopping it. What about steam cleaning, rebuffing, re-waxing or even replacing a tired surface. You may not look down, but your customers do.

A continuation of the dining room floor are the base boards. When selling your restaurant, no detail is too small. Take a moment and wipe down the baseboards?

For a larger project, consider touching up paint on walls, a fresh coat of paint maybe even a new color? HGTV is filled with stories of a “before” and “after.” Many of these are just fresh paint colors that can have a huge impact.

Don’t forget to look up. That A/C leak from last year that stained a few of your ceiling tiles is a constant reminder of failed equipment. Don’t let a restaurant buyer focus on these negative items if you’re selling your restaurant. Look up, fix the ceiling tiles and, how about those ceiling fans? Please don’t tell me the last time you dusted them was last Spring.

Look at your décor. Change out old faded artwork or posters. You can do better. New pictures, new TV screens, new table covers; all are easy and simple (low cost) ways to bring Spring in the air.

Your kitchen is the engine every buyer wants to see. When is the last time you pulled out your kitchen equipment and steam cleaned the entire space and equipment? Have you gone to your storage area and disposed of any items no longer in use? Consider updating to newer technologies or upgraded equipment for the upcoming busy season. New equipment may cost now but make a huge difference to your bottom line this year if the food cooks faster or the temperature is stable.

Patios are often a huge plus for restaurants but to require upkeep. That area if visible from the road could also be the first look in your establishment for many customers. Make sure you have a picture-perfect patio area. Adding water or fire elements to your patio could also make a very positive impact on your business. Your patio, seen from the road, can be a billboard for you.

Menu Spring Cleaning

When selling a restaurant, the focus is on profitability. When is the last time you took a hard look at your menu? Adding and/or deleting items, pricing adjustment, seasonal specials, promotions, LTO’s. Be very strategic here. An outside consultant or food vendor can help with this. This is a big part of your business. If you can bring up your loss leaders or trade non-selling items on your menu for more profitable and sellable items what are you waiting for? Status quo is very easy and comfortable but if your sales are not going up, you are losing marketing share.

Staff Spring Cleaning

When selling your restaurant, you want the best possible crew. Do you need to provide additional training to the current team? Should you roll out a new incentive package for the team to participate in? You can host team building activity to set the tone and expectations for the busy season ahead. Whichever you decide to do here do not overlook or skip staff spring cleaning.

You spend a tremendous of time in your restaurant and sometimes it is very difficult to step out be candidly honest with yourself about the appearance. When selling your restaurant, that first impression may seal or sink the deal.

A quick Spring cleaning can go a long way. Any changes small or big will be noticed by your team and your customers. That new paint smell or new air freshener in your bathrooms will soon become the smell of new customers and new profits.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

What Your Restaurant Wants for Christmas, According to a Restaurant Broker

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Dec 14, 2017 10:00:00 AM

This is the time of year where being thankful and giving to others takes center stage. As a Restaurant Broker for over 15 years, I have always believed that giving someone a restaurant for Christmas is an excellent idea, and I still believe that today. Unfortunately, it seems that I am the only one that believes in that theory, but hey, this is also the season for miracles, right?

Until my Christmas wish comes comes true ( can you hear me now, Santa?) I decided to ask your restaurant what it would like for Christmas.  Boy did I get an earful.  After several long discussions with your restaurant, here are the top 5 things it would like for Christmas from you or Santa, in no particular order:
  • Your Restaurant wants a makeover

When is the last time you invested in actual dining room or kitchen upgrades? It does not have to be all that expensive.  A fresh coat of paint can go a long way. You may able to make a community event out of it  Have a bigger budget?  Investing in new kitchen equipment can save you money in the long run, or increase speed in the back of the house. Maybe you can do both. 

  • Your Restaurant wants to be part of a winning team

A great location with a great decor package and good food is not enough anymore, you need to build a great team to make all of the above even better. Make it your goal to build and retain a team that will keep your customers coming back. By the way, your P&L will like this gift too.  

  • Your restaurant wants to be lean and mean

Everyone tends to get get a little more lenient when things are running well and the bank account is well above the minimum required to operate. This is no different than all of us who tend to overindulge druing the holidays and get a little more sloppy about our discipline. Make it a goal to get better in several aspects of your restaurant. Maybe it’s food cost, labor cost, increasing your sales, or simply to hit better margins by doing quarterly reviews of different expense categories. Whichever one it may be for you, now is the time to get started - it is never a good time to start this process when you are tight with money and forced to do something drastic.

  • Your restaurant wants a little brother or sister

WOW! This could be tricky! Have you ever thought about purchasing another unit? Whether you are looking at your next franchise unit or another concept that you have in mind, many things must be in order before creating that new child! Is your financial house in order?  Do you have the capital required? Do you have team member on the bench ready to step up? The answer here is not, "We will hire someone 30 days before opening." Are we building out first generation space, or are we looking for second generation, or can we buy someone else's location? 

  • Your restaurant wants to be around for a very long time

As an owner, manager, or investor in a restaurant, the greatest pleasure you can have is to see your restaurant grow and prosper. Unfortunately, unlike your human children, this one will require care, nurturing, guidance and ongoing leadership forever. Even if you are an owner operator you must surround yourself with trusted advisors to make all the right decisions. You make so many decisions in a day that even if you get 80 percent of them right, every day you still may fail in the long run. Surround yourself with people that will help you during the life of your restaurant, people like accountants, bankers, insurance agents, food purveyors, marketing geniuses, advertising executives, sales pros, coaches, mentors, peers, etc...

If you can give any or all of these things to your restaurant in the near future, your restaurant will thank you. How you ask? By rewarding you financially! Now is a good time to add your restaurant to you list of people who need your gifts this holiday season. Plus, it will keep you off the 2018 list of naughty restaurant owners (yes, the restaurants told me they are working on it for 2018).

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful Christmas and great Holiday season, and remember, if you are looking for a restaurant for sale that you want to treat right all year long, click the link below. We have the hundreds of restaurant for sale listings for you to browse.

New Call-to-action

Topics: Restaurant Brokers

Restaurant Sales Results are Down.  What are you Doing About It?

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Aug 15, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Restaurants sales for most of 2017 have been soft.  We are seeing reports for both of the first two quarters trending below expectations.  The results are the same for both franchise and independents operators. As a restaurant broker performing valuations on a daily basis we always ask potential sellers the same question we are being asked by the bank and the buyers.  Why are your sales declining?  The most common answer we receive is, “I don't know."

Get our there and Sell.jpgIf you have been reading or even just glancing at the headlines in most trade publications you should know this: traffic is down and there are more options than ever before for consumers when it comes down to prepared food. Are you measuring the decline or working to curb the trend?

Owners will often tell us their plan to grow sales is a “wait and see” strategy.  For these sellers, they truly believe, “it will come back on its own; this is a good location." Other reply that they truly don’t have a plan.  As a restaurant broker focusing on business valuation neither of these makes me feel good.  If you tell this to a banker,  don't count on lending any time soon.  They will likely shy away from your deal with either answer. 

Now that the cat is out of the bag let's try to look at what you can do to curb this trend. Here are three ways you can take control of your business today and improve your sales results.

Review and Refresh your Marketing and Advertising Strategies. Marketing and advertising have changed tremendously over the last couple of years.  If you don’t clearly understand how to interact on social media to drive bottom line results, I suggest you hire someone that does ASAP.

Putting your events and daily specials on social media every day is not having a successful social media presence. You need to measure results and look at each offer.  Social media is not the magic bullet to turn your sales around.  It is, however, one of the ‘must-have’ tools in your strategy.

Community Involvement. Old fashioned community involvement seems to have fallen off the radar but the actual bottom line results are still strong from this tried and true method. Churches, little league baseball, youth football, soccer and civic organizations in your area are great potential loyal patrons for your establishment.  Restaurant owners need to go and meet with the leaders of these groups.  Then figure out the best way to get involved and ask how you can personally invite their members or participants to your restaurant.  

Get Outside Your Walls. In this day and age of technology it is very easy and comfortable to stay behind our screens and interact with others though digital means.  You however, chose to be in the restaurant industry which requires human interaction every day with team members and customers. Most of you enjoy the interactions and this why you are a restaurant owner or manager, otherwise you would have become an accountant! In order to gain sales even in slower sales cycle it is imperative for you to reach OUTSIDE of your four walls on a daily basis.  If you are not out there in your local market meeting new people, thanking and inviting customers, someone else is doing it for their establishment. You should be outside the store with a strategy every single week to develop new business.  Is there a new gym opening?  Partner on a coupon for a healthy “side” for free with purchase of an entrée.  Fun K run this weekend?  Buy yourself a tent and invite the runners to celebrate their success with a sweet indulgence – free dessert with purchase of a meal.  There are many ways to get outside the store and develop business.

While we have restaurant sellers trending right on par with disappointing national trends, we have others experiencing double digit growth.  The difference in the two?  Our growth sellers are using the techniques described above. They are not counting losses, they are making changes.  Above all, they recognize the game has changed and it’s time for them to get out there and yes, SELL!!!

 Interested in know what your restaurant is worth in today’s market?  Contact the Restaurant Brokers at this link for a free valuation

New Call-to-action

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Election Year Advice for Restaurant Sellers - Are you ready?

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Sep 29, 2016 9:45:00 AM

The first debate is over and the election countdown begins.  Who are you pulling for?  Never mind – the restaurant brokers don’t care.  No matter which side makes it into the oval office, as a restaurant seller, you need to start looking ahead and prepare for the coming year.

election_blog.jpgSome brokers say that business is slow in anticipate of the election while buyers sit at the sidelines in a “wait and see” phase.  That is not the case at We Sell Restaurants where we have more deals in contract than at any time in our fifteen year plus history.  However, if you as a seller have been holding on until after a new President is sworn into office, here are some tips on what you can do between now and the election to be ready to sell early in 2017.  

First, it is a lot easier to figure out where you are going next when you know where you are coming from. Make sure the data from your current year is up to date through last month.  Know your key performance indicators like year to date sales, food costs and labor cost along with the performance of your marketing and advertising campaigns.  Don’t overlook items like LTO (limited time offer) success and employee turnover.  Buyers are more serious and curious than ever and you should expect them to ask questions about your total operation. 

Once you have the current year’s starting point, analyze your findings against last year’s performance.  Most importantly, also compare your results to the current year industry performance in your segment. Key questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I performing above, at or below the industry? ( a very important key indicator)
  • If I’m a franchise, where do I rank in the system?
  • How am I doing compared to my previous year? Once you answer several questions you should start getting a clear picture of where you stand instead of a "gut feeling statement." Some might say business is bad if you’re down 10% from last year, but if your industry and segment was down 25%, you actually did quite well right?

Once you get this picture; you can now start looking ahead and drafting your plan for next year. What are your goals? Get with your management team and discuss the following:

  1. Do we open a second location or a new concept?
  2. Do we focus on strengthening operations and growing sales?
  3. Do we stay put and renegotiate the lease while saving money for future remodel or do we make changes now?
  4. Do we start looking at moving to a new location?
  5. Do we look at expanding or different brands if you are in the franchise industry?
  6. Is it time to exit the business for any reason?
  7. Are there any other scenarios that you may imagine may be reviewed through this process?

This process makes it very easy for you to see if you can achieve the things on your wish list through your financial results.

The common element in all these is to have current high quality information at your fingertips at all times. Many of the scenarios above will require you to have this information to provide to various other entities such as banks, landlords, franchisors and restaurant brokers.

If you have not invested in having financial information available to you on a monthly basis you are making decisions blindly.  That’s whether you have one small family owned restaurant or multiple units.  Sometimes you can be more lucky than good, but as we all know, at some point luck will run out.

It is not too late to make this happen for 2016 and be ready for great success for 2017 regardless of the political outcome. If you need help, contact the estaurant brokers to point you in the right direction. 

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Atlanta Restaurant Sales Continue to Climb in 2015

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Jun 2, 2015 1:41:07 PM

CPA Robert Wagner has released his quarterly survey of sales growth in the Atlanta market and the results show an increase over last year of 5.5% versus the same period in 2014.  

A positive first quarter trend was reported by the CPA firm at 71% of the more than 100 restaurants surveyed.  


The restaurant brokers are seeing similar trending in the dozens of P&L's reviewed in the past quarter.   Eric Gagnon, President of We Sell Restaurants says, "We are seeing sales increases ranging from 3% on the low end to 6% on the high end for most of the P&L's we review as part of the listing process. That includes both Atlanta Georgia listings and restaurants for sale nationwide."  He continues saying, "Sales are only one part of the equation when valuing a restaurant for lending.  Most valuation is based on earnings and owner benefit rather than top-line sales.  Most restaurant find stronger earnings as a result of better top line sales but others find savings in the bottom line through stronger expense management."  

Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon's take on sales increases is in line with the results captured by Black Box. Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company found results nationwide were almost half that of the Atlanta marketplace with reported sales up 2.8% over the prior year in first quarter. Their data implies that some price increases have been in play as well since they say that while overall sales are up 2.8%, traffic is down .6% compared to the same period in 2014. 

Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Q1 2015 was the 17th straight quarter that our
sales survey disclosed positive sales growth at Atlanta restaurants. There were a couple of
offsetting developments in Q1. First, sales in 2015 were going up against a quarter (Q1 2014) with
significant weather challenges. So we expected the 2015 sales to show favorably. Alternatively, in
Q1 new restaurants opened in Atlanta, particularly at Krog Street Market and Buckhead Atlanta. By
definition, new restaurants are not included in our survey. However, they can negatively impact
sales trends at existing restaurants. These competing trends appear to have canceled each other
producing a routine, respectable positive-comp-sales trend of 5.5% for Q1 2015.”


About the survey


The Sample: The 103 independently-operated, non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro
Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $69 million for the quarter. The survey includes
restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 15 months.

Robert Wagner, CPA is president of NetFinancials, Inc. which provides a full range of tax and
accounting services for restaurant companies. Email: Direct: 404-874-7002

The NetFinancials quarterly Atlanta restaurant sales survey is provided as a public service to the
restaurant industry. Copyright NetFinancials, Inc.

Topics: Selling a Restaurant

Top 10 Restaurants for Sale November 2014

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Dec 15, 2014 6:18:38 PM

Here are the restaurant broker's top ten restaurants for sale for the month of November, 2014.  Our buyers frequently ask how the list is generated and here is the answer!  We measure the number of phone calls, feedback and inquiries from all our marketing channels.  While our powerhouse website generates the most looks, don’t forget the restaurant brokers are also out there on social media, on the radio each week and on YouTube talking about restaurants for sale.  We take all the activity generated from all this marketing and combine it with a count of online confidentiality agreements signed, listing views and other data generated from our powerhouse restaurant for sale website,     

We also check in with our Certified Restaurant Brokers to see which listings are driving the most phone calls.  We want to know what restaurant buyers are talking about with each of our agents.  At the end of the    
month, we add it all up and see which listings make it to the coveted top 10 positions out of our hundreds of     re
staurant for sale listings.

The time of year definitely impacts both traffic and the number of deals. November 2014 was a very busy month. Many sellers were working to finalize transactions before the 2013 year end. This is a common     practice as some want to move capital into an investment before year end for tax purposes while other restaurant buyers simply want to ring in the New Year as a restaurant owner.  

The most popular restaurant for sale this month actually wasn't for sale - it was for lease! This downtown university location got the most hits and most looks. We have presented several letters of intent to the
landlord but haven't finalized one yet if you're interested in this great opportunity. The adjacency to a
university is very appealing and they even allow beer and wine at the site!  

Restaurant Space for Lease in Atlanta - Near Major Downtown Universities
Lease: To Be Negotiated
Monthly Rent: $4995
Inside Sq. Ft. 2900
Outside Sq. Ft.

The second most popular restaurant for sale was a Marietta opportunity offered by restaurant broker John Sparks. This
business is operating as a Hookah lounge and Persian restaurant now but can convert to almost any concept as  the décor is flexible. The monthly rent at $3150 is a winner for a great location in East Cobb where high income households and families live in a strong residential community outside the Atlanta Metro area..

Persian Restaurant with Hookah Lounge for Sale in East Cobb
Lease: 5 years/option for 5 more
Monthly Rent: $3150
Inside Sq. Ft. approx 5000
Outside Sq. Ft.

A second listing in the downtown Atlanta offered for lease by Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon brought a lot of looks and was the third most popular listing for the month. This second location on a college campus brought a number of buyers to the table for a look and we expect a confirmed offer by early 2015.  

Bar and Restaurant Space for Lease in Booming Downtown Atlanta
Lease: To Be Negotiated
Monthly Rent: $7000
Inside Sq. Ft. 5000
Outside Sq. Ft.

The interest for buyers in quick service restaurants was evident by the strong number of inquiries on this turnkey space in Deerfield Beach Florida.  Not only did the listing generate lots of inquiries but Ken Eisenband, We Sell Restaurants franchisee in South Florida feels confident he'll have this on under contract any day now.  

Turnkey Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) for Sale in Deerfield Beach
Lease: Expires October 2015 plus options
Monthly Rent: $1942
Inside Sq. Ft. 850
Outside Sq. Ft. 200
City:Deerfield Beach

A new listing for the month, a diner in Tallapoosa Georgia with a retro feel and lots of space was the next most popular listing by the restaurant brokers.  This diner that features a ridiculously low rental rate.  The lease is only $1200 a month for 4000 square feet.  This business, outside the metro Atlanta market is a great opportunity for someone who wants to relocate to the south and experience small time living with very low fixed costs

Diner for Sale Features Breakfast Lunch & Dinner and Unbeatable Rent
Lease: 10 yr + 10 yr
Monthly Rent: $1200
Inside Sq. Ft. 4000
Outside Sq. Ft.

A waterfront restaurant for sale on the lake brought out multiple buyers. While a competitor to the restaurant brokers had this listed for months without a single contract, we had it sold in a matter of days! We have backup offers on this one so don’t look
for it to be available. We are only waiting on the lease documents to close on this deal. 

Waterfront Restaurant for Sale - Offered Under $50,000!
Lease: Negotiable
Monthly Rent: $$2500
Inside Sq. Ft. 1600
Outside Sq. Ft. 1600

Chicken wings have to be one of America’s top food groups and this Chicken Wings restaurant for sale in Brookhaven make it onto the top ten restaurants for sale list the very first month it was listing. We are waiting on offers to wrap this one up for a new buyer to purchase early in 2015.

Chicken Wings Restaurant for Sale - City of Brookhaven Atlanta's Newest City
Lease: 2 years
Monthly Rent: $1000
Inside Sq. Ft. approx 950
Outside Sq. Ft.

Delray Beach Florida, home to restaurant broker franchisee Ken Eisenband drove lots of looks and activity on an Italian and Pizza Restaurant for sale in a high volume plaza.  The inexpensive price point (under $50,000) generated a lot of interest for this fully equipped restaurant with a double stack pizza oven. 

Italian and Pizza Restaurant for Sale -- located in High Volume Plaza
Lease: 2 years remaining plus 5 five year option
Monthly Rent: $5500
Inside Sq. Ft. 2200
Outside Sq. Ft. 150
City:Delray Beach

Atlanta suburbs continue to generate strong growth among the “urban sprawl” of the marketplace so this former restaurant for lease space with a grease trap in place got lots of buyers interested.  It came in at number nine on the top ten list of restaurants for sale.

Former Restaurant Space for Lease - Grease Trap in Place!
Lease: 5+5
Monthly Rent: $5625.31
Inside Sq. Ft. 3525
Outside Sq. Ft.

 The tenth place finish was for a Subway restaurant in the Atlanta metro area.  This unit, priced under $100,000 and with very low monthly rent allows for an owner/operator to make a nice income.

Subway Franchise For Sale in Georgia
Lease: Valid thru 2018 plus Options
Monthly Rent: $1630
Inside Sq. Ft. 1500
Outside Sq. Ft.

All said, November 2014 was a busy month for restaurant brokers!  The top ten listings resulted in more hits to our powerhouse website and more buyers than any other November in history.  We continue to post new listings daily and will publish December results along with our annual version of the Top Ten Restaurants for Sale early in the New Year. 

Interested in more restaurants for sale?  Visit our Website!

Topics: Buying a Restaurant

University Restaurant Space for Lease in Atlanta

Posted by Eric Gagnon on Sep 2, 2014 1:32:26 PM

4277_mainpic-1Rent this restaurant space for lease in a location surrounded by thousands of potential customers.  Located in downtown Atlanta, this restaurant space for lease, offered by the restaurant brokers, is the perfect new locale for your business.  The monthly rent is $4,995 for 2,900 square feet which includes a 600 square foot mezzanine open to the downstairs.  Public transportation provided by the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) offers plenty of transportation options.  Patrons can easily access the district by either the MARTA rail stations and/or the city bus routes.

This is currently a closed location however it has a hood, grease trap, flat top, fryers, refrigeration and some other remaining equipment.  The front of house includes everything down to the chairs and  tables so it could be turned over to a new concept quickly.  Your new business will be located directly on a university campus with access to more than 32,000 students and 3500 faculty members.   Landlord is willing to do both Tenant Improvement Money and free rent for a period of time for the right tenant to offset an upfront charge of $25,000.  The landlord is willing to make a sweet deal but he wants experienced operators or franchises for this one of a kind location.  His preference for the concept includes a breakfast and lunch operation.  Come a break a few eggs on this college campus today with the many concepts that are right for this daypart.    
The area is thriving and allows for a terrific opportunity.  This restaurant space for lease is surrounded by major retailers, high-end businesses, and outstanding foot traffic.  This area is the central business sector for Atlanta and is the largest of the city’s districts.  This Atlanta neighborhood hubs many corporate headquarters as well as city, county, state, and federal offices. 
This restaurant space for lease is within a region which measures approximately four square miles and has the median income of $87,000.  Due to the exponential growth of the district, the downtown area has undergone a significant transformation.  Renovation of historic buildings and construction of new housing/condos has welcomed the arrival of new businesses and residents alike.
This restaurant space for lease allows for endless inspiration and numerous concepts.  A spacious 2,900 square foot floor plan, the site can effortlessly mold to concepts such as a coffee shop, doughnut, fast food franchise, or even a yogurt shop.  Your options are limitless.  Quick-casual concepts have become extremely popular and allow the customers convenience and speed of service.  The rise of the “foodies” has also permitted significant growth for fine dining joined with casual dining prices.
Make an offer today on this restaurant space for lease and contact Certified Restaurant Broker Eric Gagnon at 404-800-6000.

Topics: Leasing a Restaurant